Leaders from one of the world’s biggest Christian churches, The City Harvest Church, have fronted court today, being charged with the misappropriation of millions of dollars in donations, allegedly used to fund the career of US-based pop star Sun Ho.
Rather than investing the funds in iron ore or even erecting the new church building like they were suppose to be doing, they funnelled $32 million into the career of the pop star. Ho’s husband, Pastor Kong Hee, is one of those standing trial for the crime, along side 5 other members of the church, some facing up to 20 years in jail.
In opening statements today, prosecutors said the church shifted $S24 million ($AU19.5 million) originally put aside for a church building fund through two companies and sham bond investments. A further $S26 million ($AU21 million) was scattered to cover up the initial sum. Despite what you might think, Pastor Kong’s flock seem pretty chilled about the whole thing, telling reporters that they trust him to spend their money wisely.
A verdict isn’t expected to be delivered until next year, with the trial set to adjourn part heard on 23rd May. Sun Ho will not be put on trial, and has been reinstated as City Harvest’s executive director after it was ruled that she had no hand in the scheme.
The City Harvest Church focuses on the creative side of expressing one’s faith. Gathering a following of around 30,000 since 1989, it’s insanely loaded and exists in 48 different countries, including Australia, with our local branch located in North Sydney.
Two of Ho’s singles One With You and Without Love gained solid traction in the US and UK scoring decent chart love in 2007.